BON EIS Committee Members

Rachel Moran

BON EIS Chairperson

Rachel Moran, PhD, Waterford, Ireland

Rachel, an American/Irish scientist, is a Howard Postdoctoral Researcher at the Nutrition Research Centre Ireland in Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT). Prior to this current position, she completed her PhD under the supervision of Professor John Nolan and Professor Stephen Beatty. The focus of her research was to quantify and assess plasma concentrations of the nutrients, lutein and zeaxanthin, and to investigate how they relate to health characteristics and lifestyle factors in Irish adults. Rachel believes that lifestyles and behaviours towards nutrition has a major impact on the prevention and progression of diseases such as age-related macular degeneration.

In 2010, she obtained a BSc (Honours) degree in Biotechnology with Quality Management and also gained pharmaceutical experience in Genzyme, Sanofi. She is a first author on two publications and also a co-author on 12 publications. Rachel has attended 13 national and international conferences including the International Carotenoid Symposium in Utah and Lucerne. The 2018 BON conference will mark Rachel’s third time attending this conference but the first time chairing the EIS.

Rachel has attended many workshops and courses including Phlebotomy, Advanced Vision Optometric Tests (AVOT), Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB), Heidelberg Spectralis and Advanced Chromatographic Techniques. She is currently project managing clinical trials that investigate visual and cognitive function in nutrition-related projects in Waterford, coordinating a cross-sectional study in Mexico and supervising two PhD candidates. When she is not in the chemistry or vision lab, she enjoys reading, baking and spending time with her family.

Saint headshot

Sarah Saint, PhD, Georgia, USA

Dr. Sarah Saint is an Assistant Research Scientist/Postdoc in the Institute of Gerontology (College of Public Health) at the University of Georgia. Prior to graduating with her PhD in Developmental Psychology, Sarah worked with Drs. Janet Frick, Billy Hammond, and Lisa Renzi investigating the impact of the macular carotenoids on visual and cognitive function in early life (infancy and pre-adolescence). This work began with the characterization of the development of temporal vision in young infants (specifically, Critical Flicker Fusion thresholds; published in Vision Research), and culminated in her dissertation entitled “The relation between the macular carotenoids and cognitive function in pre-adolescent children,” which is currently under review for publication. Sarah also co-authored a book chapter on the impact of prenatal supplementation on infant cognitive development, and has attended many national and international conferences, including the 2013 BON/Macular Carotenoids conference in Cambridge. Broadly speaking, Sarah is interested in how nutrition can influence sensory, cognitive, and psychological well-being across the lifespan. When she isn’t working, Sarah enjoys hiking in the North Georgia mountains, spending time with her family and friends, photography, swimming, and playing tennis.

Fabio updated

Fábio Bernardi Daga, M.D., Durham, North Carolina, USA

Fábio, a Brazilian scientist, is a 3rd year PhD candidate at the Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP), Brazil. He has been working under Dr. Felipe A. Medeiros (M.D., Ph.D.) orientation during the last two years [one at University of California San Diego (UCSD), and another one at Duke University]. The focus of his research is related to glaucoma and cataract. Under the glaucoma field, he has been investigating new technologies based on virtual reality to evaluate functional impairment in glaucoma patients. In addition, his research involves investigating quality of life of glaucoma patients. During his period at UCSD, he had the pleasure to work under Professor John Nolan orientation investigating the role of macular pigment on visual function in glaucoma patients.

In 2009, he graduated in medicine at Federal University of Paraná (UFPR). In 2014, he finished his Ophthalmology residency at Irmandande Santa Casa de Misericórdia de São Paulo. In 2016, he finished his fellowships in Glaucoma, Cataract and Refractive Surgery at UNIFESP.

Fabio has presented several papers and posters in the most valuable Ophthalmological meetings (American Glaucoma Society Meeting, World Glaucoma Congress, Association for Research on Vision and Ophthalmology, American Academy Ophthalmology, American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery). He also has more than 10 studies published in Ophthalmology journals related to different fields in glaucoma.

This will be Fabio’s first time attending the conference in Downing College, Cambridge, UK. Outside of his academic interests, Fabio enjoys swimming, jogging, hanging out with friends, and reading a lot.

Rebecca Power

Ms Rebecca Power, MSc, Waterford, Ireland

Rebecca is a 3rd year PhD candidate at the Nutrition Research Centre Ireland in Waterford Institute of Technology. Rebecca has a keen interest in the role of nutrition for optimising health and wellbeing, with a specific interest in the potential role of nutrition in maintaining cognitive health and reducing the risk of neurological diseases, namely Alzheimer’s disease. Her current project, the Cognitive impAiRmEnt Study (CARES), is investigating the role of nutrition supplementation on cognitive function among individuals with mild cognitive impairment in comparison to age-matched controls. This research is being performed under the supervision of Professor John Nolan, Professor Stephen Beatty and Professor Riona Mulcahy, and support from Dr Robert Coen.

Rebecca has previously worked as a Research Technician on the European Research Council-funded Central Retinal Enrichment Supplementation Trials (CREST), which investigated the impact of enrichment of macular pigment on visual performance. Rebecca holds a BA (Honours) in Health Promotion. She has also completed an MSc (by Research) in sedentary behaviour, which involved characterising the habitual physical activity and sedentary patterns of individuals with peripheral arterial disease.

This will be Rebecca’s second time attending the conference in Downing College, Cambridge, UK. She has one first author and four co-author publications. She has also attended many national and international conferences, and recently presented a poster at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, London, UK (2017). Outside of her academic interests, Rebecca enjoys keeping fit (swimming and walking), reading and attending sporting events, namely the Irish sport known as hurling.